15 11 Cyclox Circular

Annual General Meeting & Talk by Carlton Reid, Tuesday 17th November 2015
Saint Michael’s at the Northgate, Cornmarket St, Oxford OX1 3EY.  Free refreshments.
Agenda: all Cyclox members welcome 7.30pm
Guest speaker: Carlton Reid – everyone welcome: 8.15pm
Carlton Reid, journalist and author of game-changing books such as ‘Roads were not built for cars’ will talk to us about how and why cycling is having such a resurgence, as described in his latest book ‘Bike Boom’ http://www.bikeboom.info/.  This will be followed by informal discussion and social, until 9.30 p.m.
Please note:  All members are welcome  to attend and vote at the Cyclox AGM.  We will (re-)elect members of the committee – if you are interested in joining the committee please email contact@cyclox.org  by 3rd November.  The chair, treasurer, honorary secretaru, membership secretary and communicatios editor have all indicated their willingness to continue on the committee. If you wish to put a motion to the AGM please tell us a by 3rd November so that we can notify members.  While we will accept motions at the meeting they will be discussed after the guest speaker.

In other news:

A bevy of Bromptons meet their maker
This week’s talk by Andrew Ritchie, inventor of the Brompton, was a high point for Cyclox, with about 80 people entranced by the beautifully told and very humble story of the design and building of the iconic folding bike.  Everyone felt they had experienced something very special, and the insight into the single-minded determination coupled with self-effacing modesty and harsh realism was inspiring as well as being great fun.

Oxford Cycle Shorts – A Cyclox Short Film Competition
With GoPro lookalike cameras in Robert Dyas (and ebay) for £30, now is your chance for fame and fortune.  Realise that directorial urge.  You have a month to make a short (1-5mins) film which aims to encourage cycling in Oxford.  Go to  http://www.cyclox.org/film/ for more details.  There is a huge cash prize, plus Youtube publicity for all who take part.  Closing date 21st November 2015.


Oxford Parkway Station
The new station has its formal opening on Monday.  While we can’t blame Chiltern Railways for the dire state of the cycle paths on the pavement from Cutteslowe, and have put in 150 cycle racks with the option of more, we would like a more joined-up approach by them and the county council to promote cycling and walking as the main way passengers could access the station.  Cyclox plans to test out the route and question passengers on their experience of getting to and using the station next week. We will report on our findings and make recommendations where appropriate.  Oly Shipp will be cycling to the station on Monday and trying a journey http://www.chilternrailways.co.uk/travelling-your-bike-0.

Not only the clocks are going back this weekend
In a wonderful example of 40 year old thinking, the DfT announced ‘Half million pound study to explore Oxford to Cambridge Expressway’  https://www.gov.uk/government/news/half-million-pound-study-to-explore-oxford-to-cambridge-expressway “Improved road links between Oxford and Cambridge will allow hard working families to have better access to jobs, shops and leisure facilities” said a DfT spokesman.  No doubt this is just what hard-working families need rather than the £50m being saved by the county council whose consultation https://www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/cms/content/environment-and-economy includes reductions in gritting, gully cleaning, street lighting maintenance and road repairs among other ideas, so be prepared for a rough ride out there.

Rurality and cycling
There was an interesting discussion on the relationship of population density with cycle usage – there probably isn’t one.  County Head of transport David Nimmo-Smith claims Oxfordshire is too rural to have much opportunity for cycling.  (Population density of Oxfordshire is 251 per sq Km vs UK average 261).  Robin Tucker suggested we should be focussing on the number of possible routes under 5 miles between centres of population, for example: you can go from Wantage to Harwell to Didcot to Culham to Abingdon to Kennington to Cowley to Oxford to Headington to Kidlington to Botley to Eynsham to Witney to Carterton all in journeys of 5 miles or less.  Others added Shrivenham to Faringdon to Stanford to Wantage and Carterton to Bampton to Faringdon.  The reason that people don’t cycle is not the distance, it is that they don’t feel safe on rural roads.  So the real issue here is what are the county council doing to improve people’s sense of safety if they want to cycle?  Since the population density of Oxfordshire is less than Germany (232 people per sq Km) we should aspire to a slightly higher rate of cycling than Germany’s 14% of journeys (UK currently is 1.56%).

Near miss study report
It is sadly ironic that slower (less confident?) cyclists have a worse time with near miss events from careless vehicles than speedy riders.  The first report is out and the independent research group Creative Exchange is now asking other cyclists to register and take part in the current research http://www.nearmiss.bike.  It just involves keeping a record of events for one day.  Lead researcher Rachel Aldred will give a presentation to Cyclox in February.

Cycle contraflow in Pembroke St
Work has started on creating a new road surface and allowing two-way cycling in Pembroke St which will improve our experience of east-west journeys, given that Queen Street is out of bounds during the day. Led by councillor Craig Simmons, the city have also announced plans for further improvements, including allowing two-way cycling on Magdalen St and Howard St in East Oxford. http://mycouncil.oxford.gov.uk/mgAi.aspx?ID=9967 and for a newspaper version:  http://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/news/13717455.Pedalling_a_new_future_for_Oxford/?ref=mr&lp=17

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